Boost Your Outdoor Look and Home Value!

Backyards get all the glory! Often true, it seems. We’re going to interrupt your excitement about spring patio season for just a minute. General Shale offers a full range of outdoor products that deliver a consistent look for your entire property and add real value too.

Think Big Picture

Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 1.44.56 PMWith home value always top of mind, homeowners should make efforts on their entire property. Boosting curb appeal – at the front of your home –  does bring significant returns and quicker sale. But a co-ordinated look – front and back – creates design continuity and adds another level of sophistication.  Plus, when you incorporate General Shale stone products, you’re guaranteed long-term beauty and performance.

Resale Value

While the statistics vary greatly on the ROI of outdoor improvements, you’ll never find a realtor who will tell you that first impressions don’t matter. Multiple online sources report 5-20% higher resale value on well ‘landscaped’ properties (source: The Washington Post).

Setting a Budget

Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 1.56.50 PMObviously the scope of your project is contingent on your personal budget, how long you’re planning to live in your current home and your neighborhood market. According to, for a long-term residence, invest 10 – 20% of your home’s value on outdoor curb appeal and landscaping. If you’re looking to sell in 30-60 days, 1 to 2 percent is a ‘reasonable’ investment.

Create a Visual Plan

Start by creating a visual document or blueprint, complete with measurements, that you can use to plan all the features of your outdoor property. You can find several reasonably priced software programs online, including  If you prefer to sketch, there’s always graph paper. For some of us, drawing is part of the creative process, plus you can still create a proper scale with pencil and paper.

To save on time and learning new software, you can hire a local Landscape Architect. Usually for around $500, you can get top-notch drawings – to perfect scale and usable by sub-contractors for bigger landscaping jobs, including laying pavers. Plus you’ll get expert input on the overall layout, best plants and trees to use for your region and interesting design ideas too. Don’t feel pressure to hire them to complete the job – clarify that you want to start with the plan/drawings.

SANITY TIP?  Plan in Phases

Breaking the overall project up will help ensure you have the money, time and energy to complete the job properly. Outdoor work can be very fun at the beginning and then become a chore when we take on too much.  You could plan by mini-project or by season (time frame).

General Shale Outdoor Products

We offer several gorgeous products that will help you create a co-ordinated look, front to back.  You can carry through walkways using our landscaping stones and use the same paver blocks for mailboxes, columns, retaining walls, outdoor fireplace, fire pits and more!

outdoor collectionBe careful to select a paver color and style that suits the style and tones of  your brick home. Then choose products that will work as front, curb appeal elements and back yard entertainment features. Most of our outdoor products require only beginner-level skill and can be completed in a day or two!

Discover our broad selection for 2017 and happy planning! Here are links for landscaping stone and pavers too:

Landscaping Stone


We hope that your outdoor projects turn into some family fun this year! Enjoy the fresh air and physical activity with the payoff of added home value and lasting features that you can enjoy for years.

Check out our Outdoor Living Pinterest Board for some great ideas too!